You Put a Ring On It, Good Job, Great Job

Meaghan O’Connell, recently engaged person, wrote a thing on her tumblr about what it’s like to be continually congratulated for “making a conventional decision people almost automatically support.” She’s not making fun of people congratulating her, by the way. She’s very grateful. But also, it’s very nice to read about someone recently engaged in one of the most Exciting Things That Can Happen to a Person In Our Modern World be so real about it (“We didn’t get married yet. We made a decision! We had several difficult conversations over the course of a few years!”) Also good background information is that she very recently quit a very good job to Do Her Own Thing And Find Her Own Way, so FYI, Meaghan, if I see you and congratulate you, that is what I’m talking about okay.

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7 Comments / Post A Comment

Smallison (#155)

As the kids would say, I know those feels. Often times, I need to tell people about the wedding date for factual, practical purposes, but it always feels like I’m fishing for a congratulations. And, when I get a ‘Congrats’ I do appreciate it, but at the same time, I definitely don’t deserve it, since I am the least bridely bride that ever brided. It’s a weird place to be in.

Meaghano (#529)

@Smallison Ha, yes. When you have to mention it and you know you’re about to go through all the motions, and they’re going to be staring at your hand looking for your ring and you don’t wanna HIDE it but you don’t wanna accidentally show it off. Should I just say, “And heeeere’s the ring!” and shove my hand in people’s faces first thing? I don’t want to do that, but it probably gets it over with and makes things easier.
I mean, these aren’t real problems, but it is kind of hilarious and insane.

Oof, I get that. As someone who recently got married, got a great new job, and will finish grad school soon, guess which thing people are excited about? NOT THE JOB, that’s what.

Particularly as a woman, it was very odd to have the professional achievements I’d worked so hard for become completely irrelevant in the face of a pretty dress from David’s and concerns about color schemes. I felt like my husband didn’t have to deal with nearly as much of that, and got to continue being a person and not a “groom” in the way that I was forcibly made into a “bride.” Engagements and weddings stir up so much cultural baggage and I am so glad to have ours behind us.

Cup of T (#2,533)

I’ve honestly never thought about relationships this way, but I really like this: “And we have done a great job, with each other, accepting each others’ love, practicing empathy, articulating hard things, saying what we want.”

Meaghano (#529)

ps thanks Logan. I look forward to this post haunting me when we call off our wedding or get divorced.

shannowhamo (#845)

I mean, I get it, getting married is very mundane just like having kids, getting jobs, etc. But they are still exciting since most people only do these things a couple times each in their life- you might get married once or twice, have a couple kids, get 2 or 3 jobs you’re really proud of. I’m not frou frou lady but I did enjoy wedding planning and didn’t feel annoyed when people asked me about it- if anything, it gave me something realtable to chat about with people who I typically don’t have that much in common with. It just never occured to me to question why someone would congratulate me for getting married- they’re happy for me that I’ve found someone to make a long-term, legal committment to. Not everyone believes that marriage is a worthwhile institution and that’s a worthwhile discussion but most people just think “oh that’s nice, have a party, start a family, good for you.” I thought I was cynical but I guess not that much!

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